Deploying EMV Issuance Solutions With Enhanced Security and Efficiency

Campuses deploying Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) technology will need to follow a number of critical best practices for issuing contact and/or contactless EMV cards with the highest possible security assurances, while also enabling instant issuance capabilities at thousands of branch offices and other locations.

The payments industry is undergoing a rapid worldwide transition to Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) chip card technology, the global standard for credit and debit payment cards. EMV is expected to accelerate mobile payment innovation while ensuring more secure transactions. Universities and hospitals deploying this technology will need to follow a number of critical best practices for issuing contact and/or contactless EMV cards with the highest possible security assurances, while also enabling instant issuance capabilities at thousands of branch offices and other locations.

The EMV Integrated Circuit Card specifications are managed, maintained and enhanced by EMVCo, LLC, which was formed in February 1999 by Europay International, MasterCard International and Visa International. EMVCo’s objective is to ensure interoperability and acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis. 

According to EMVCo, EMV has been implemented in more than 80 countries around the world, with approximately 1.5 billion EMV cards issued globally and 21.9 million POS terminals accepting EMV cards at the end of 2011. EMVCo says that the U.S. payments infrastructure is now moving to EMV with incentives and requirements for issuers, acquirers/processors and merchants to adopt EMV over the next few years. One of the last countries to migrate to EMV, the United States has seen several key developments during 2011 and 2012 as American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa all announced plans for moving to an EMV-based payments infrastructure in the United States.

As EMVCo explains, the biggest benefit of EMV is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. EMV also provides interoperability with the global payments infrastructure, ensuring that consumers with EMV chip payment cards can use their card on any EMV-compatible payment terminal. EMVCo cites the ability to support enhanced cardholder verification methods as an additional benefit of EMV technology, along with its ability to be used for secure online payment transactions.

EMVCo also highlights EMV technology’s enhanced functionality for card authentication, cardholder verification and transaction authorization as three keys to its security benefits.  Additionally, because EMV cards store payment information in a secure chip rather than on a magnetic stripe and use issuer-specific keys for all personalization, it is virtually impossible to create a usable counterfeit EMV card. 

To optimize EMV card security and efficiency, campuses must take a multi-layered approach to both card validation and issuance system management. Also, in order to support the instant-issuance requirements of customers with thousands of bank branches, campuses will need to have card personalization solutions that combine the high-volume reliability and advanced credentialing features of larger centralized printers with the lower cost and smaller footprint required for an instant-issuance, distributed printing model.

Multi-Layered Approach for EMV Card Validation and Issuance Security

Multi-layered card validation is ensured through both two-dimensional and three-dimensional personalization elements. Two-dimensional elements include standard-resolution photos as well as more secure high-resolution photos, holographic card overlaminates and laser-engraved attributes.  EMV cards go beyond these elements to include a third dimension: storing payment information in a secure chip. All cryptographically secure personalization is performed using issuer-specific keys so that it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card that can be used to successfully conduct an EMV payment transaction.

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